City of

District 18

Alder Rebecca Kemble

Image of Alder Rebecca Kemble

Alder Rebecca Kemble

Contact Information

Home Address:

4217 School Rd
Madison , WI 53704

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Kemble’s Blog

Northland Manor Park Tennis Courts Public Meeting and Update

January 10, 2019 4:44 PM

Yesterday I met with Kate Kane and Ann Friewald from Parks to get more information on the planned demolition and potential relocation of the tennis courts at Northland Manor Park. We have scheduled a public meeting for Parks to share information and for neighbors to discuss options for relocation of the tennis courts on Monday, February 11 at 6pm in the library at Gompers Elementary School.

As described in this project description, the courts were built over an area that was formerly a pond and wetlands, and they have developed sinkholes in multiple locations over the years. It is not feasible for the City to continue investing in repairs of the courts at this location. In addition, their proximity to the large white pines has resulted in the sap from the needles creating an uneven and dangerous playing surface.

Soil borings were taken under the courts and it was found that under a top layer of 13 inches of topsoil there is eight feet of mixed sand, clays and construction debris. Further to the south the borings showed the same amount of topsoil, but a profile that excludes construction debris and that conforms more to the soils typical of this area – a mix of dense clay and sand. 

Last month a proposed map showing one option to relocate the tennis courts and the backstop was posted on the Parks website. This was intended to be the starting point for discussions about possible alternative locations for the courts. It is in no way a final plan. I shared with Parks staff the comments written by people on a Nextdoor post on this topic. In our discussion, staff were able to answer many of the questions raised, and it seems that most of the concerns can be mitigated with alternate plans. 

The project page has been updated with this map indicating the present location of amenities, trees, vegetation and utilities. You will note that there are sanitary and storm sewer lines cross cutting the park underground. Nothing can be built on top of these lines.

Regardless of future relocation plans, the courts will be demolished by Parks staff in March or April this year during their slow season. The results of our meeting on February 11 will hopefully be conclusive enough to direct Parks on how to restore the land after the courts have been removed. Any new construction would take place late summer/early fall of this year. Staff also indicated that the backstop could be tucked into the area that is now the northwest corner of the tennis courts so the pines could be preserved, though they caution that a crabapple tree could impede the field of play for kickball/softball/baseball players.

Parks staff has no opinion on whether or not the courts should be replaced. They note that there are plenty of other neighborhoods that would love tennis courts in their local parks and the budget for Northland Manor Park courts could be transferred to another park if a suitable location is found. They also informed me that all new tennis courts are being striped for both tennis and pickleball, so if there are pickleball players in the area who would like to see this amenity restored to Northland Manor Park, be sure to either come to the February 11 meeting or write to me at

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